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by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Dec 10, 2013

There are no special features on the Blu-ray edition of the Naomi Watts-produced (and starring) "Adore," which is something of a shame. Imagine the audio commentaries and interview segments exploring the story's skeptical view of the "traditional" family and the theme of multi-generational best friendships, not to mention the knottily interlinked sexual and psychological material: The latent homoeroticism and displaced Oedipal impulses.

Watts co-stars as Lil, one of a pair of lifelong friends who grew up together splashing in the Australian surf. Now hitting middle age, and with their sons having similarly grown up as best buddies, Lil and Roz (Robin Wright) start to take note of how their boys have grown up: "They're like young gods," the two mothers all but swoon, watching the lads on their surfboards. It's a line that shimmers with maternal pride, but also with a thin layer of uneasy creepiness; these ladies have been sex-starved ever since Lil's husband died years earlier in a car crash and Roz's man departed, more recently, to take on a new job in the big city.

Not that there's no reciprocation. When Lil's son Ian (Xavier Samuel) falls in love with Roz and proceeds to seduce her, it throws the door open to all sorts of crazy -- starting with Roz's son Tom (James Frecheville) returning the favor... or, as Tom tells his mother when she confronts him the morning after his all-night revenge rut, "I've been doing to Ian's mother what he's been doing to you." Cue up one well deserved slap across the chops.

But things settle down into a more or less stable, more or less workable arrangement that lasts a couple of years, until Tom takes a fancy for Mary (Jessica Tovey), a woman his own age. More craziness ensues, including dysfunction of an entirely more recognizable sort, as unhappy marriages are entered into and new families emerge from the chaos.


Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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